I’m An Octogenarian.

a poem by Denis Barter, Canada - poetry writer, author, poet

His years are many, his youth long spent,
his hair has thinned, his back is bent:
his gait grows slow, he’s no longer trim,
his hearing is poor, his eyes grow dim,
but his resolve is firm, for he’s tough within.
With a sly fleeting smile, or a wistful grin:
of his earlier days, he remembers well,
and of pleasures enjoyed. He might tell

of his tempting fate, when a blizzard raged outside,
whereas today, preferring the comfort of his fireside,
he leaves such a challenge to the younger generation.
Young listeners to his tales, hold him in veneration,
when he relates vivid details of events, in a clear voice,
or tells why situations he’d met, gave him no choice
as to which road he’d take. As his years add up fast,
he spends more time, recalling days of his past.

As time marches on, his frame is no match,
for the adventurous jaunts he used to hatch!
Today he seeks nothing more than placid days,
being quite content, to enjoy old, familiar ways
he’s long embraced as his normal daily routine.
Being a shadow of the man, he once had been,
he often yearns for times when unafraid, he’d go
out and challenge the dangers of cold winter snow.

His paled blue eyes, belie a satirical wit,
that comes to the fore when he’s time to sit,
and chat about events, that take place today,
compared with those he'd seen in an earlier day.
He’ll pull your leg, but keeps a straight face,
should he get you off on a wild goose chase!
When you’re mad, he’ll laugh at your disquiet,
if he tells a subtle joke and you don’t just buy it!

There are those days, when he wears a frown:
when life’s problems start to weigh him down,
or when another friend, has recently departed.
Days when he’s sad and a little down hearted.
a glistening tear will gather, to become apparent,
but the longing in his voice is more transparent
whenever he recalls special events from his past,
or wonders how much longer, his life will last?

Though content to live fully, and enjoy life’s pleasures,
memories from earlier days, are most precious treasures.
Whilst few of current modernities ever excite him today,
accepts progress will always insist they have their way.
He admits standards change, not necessarily for the best,
but knows courteous good manners, always stand the test,
so always greets a caller as he would a long absent friend,
and doubtless he’ll persist unchanged, until his very end!

Some may regard him as growing old and frail,
but his inner strength remains, and he’ll not fail
to prove he’s still bright and mentally alert.
Life has plenty to offer him, but a look of hurt
is seen to cross his face, should you dare to say
by his living so long, he has outlived his day!
Yes, he may walk slower, and at times forget,
but you’d willingly follow in his steps - I’ll bet!

Rhymer. January 26th, 2014


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